Friday, January 31, 2014

Stranded on the Informaton Highway

Back in the 19th century, it took eight days to travel by the Butterfield Overland Stage at 4.5 mph from San Francisco to Tucson, Arizona. Fascinating! The real "fun" of the trip came from sharing your coach with up to eight other passengers, knees interlaced, facing each other for lack of space. Couple this reality with traveling 24 hours a day, every day of the trip with only brief stops to change horses and get a drink of water or a bite of food.  Also, consider the reality of your stage traveling though a remote landscape inhabited by hostile natives and dangerous highwaymen (and at least one woman stage robber I read about).

Yes, I'm stuck researching facts about the old West, while writing The Storm Women. The good news being, I'm dogged about finding out what I need to know to make the story come alive. The bad news obviously comes down to enjoying the research so much it slows down the writing process. I offer you no cure for this phenomenon, but if you're a writer, you'll want to consider getting over, around or through this road block when creating your next novel. Please let me know if you've discovered a clever way to avoid this little writing-process mud bog.

That said, I've got to take a few words to say how much Internet research means to writers of the "great American novel." It's like finding gold under the walkway from your front door to the driveway. No more driving to the library and digging though piles of books, while making notes on little blue-lined white cards. No more shuffling through those unorganized slips of paper to find the exact quote you remembered writing down, but can't seem to sort out from all the rest. In my opinion, the Internet is better than chocolate pudding for breakfast!

Today's wisdom: Internet investigation feels like free-styling on the "information sidewalk" and grabbing some air over the road blocks.

Write On!

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